Jarno Trulli says he will not suffer a repeat of the troubles he had during 2010, as he eyes a decent step forward in performance this season.
The Italian, who is about to embark on his second campaign with Team Lotus, has made no secret of the fact that he felt his results last year did not live up to expectations. However, with Lotus having had much more preparation time ahead of 2011 – and having made the switch to Renault engines and Red Bull Racing gearboxes – Trulli says there are reasons to feel progress can be made. In fact, he dropped a hint that if things do not improve then he may well decide to give up on his F1 career.
"We have improved our organization," Trulli told Gazzetta dello Sport. "But we've been racing for one year, not 20, we can't even think about fighting with the top teams.
"My objective is to fight in the midfield and have a chance to score points. I knew that 2010 would be a transition year: [although] it turned out to be worse than I had expected. It's OK, but I won't accept another year like that. I don't like to show badly after a lifetime at the front. I can suffer for one year, but I can't for another one."
Trulli does concede that the big changes in F1's regulations this year, including new Pirelli tires and the return to KERS, will make life hard for small teams like Lotus.
"It can hardly be tougher than 2010," he said. "But the rules have changed: even Red Bull, who had a great car, doesn't know whether it can repeat its success.
"There have been too many changes: from aerodynamics to tires, to KERS. That's something we won't be able to afford: it costs a fortune and it's totally useless, it's nonsense. They talk about saving money, but every year the regulations change, people don't understand and the spectacle gets worse."
When asked about the ongoing situation regarding the naming dispute between his Team Lotus squad and the Lotus-sponsored Renault team, Trulli acknowledged some frustration about the resulting confusion among the fans.
"Which one is the real one is unknown, [and] that's embarrassing," he said. "I meet people telling me they've seen my car's new black and gold livery and I reply, 'It's green.' It's surreal."